On 5 May 2014, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare published a draft notification to amend the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945, to include rule 135-B, which may state, “135-B. Import of cosmetics tested on animals prohibited.—No cosmetic tested on animals shall be imported.” If this ban goes through, products that have been dripped into animals’ eyes, smeared onto their abraded skin, sprayed in their faces or forced down their throats in other countries will no longer be sold on store shelves in India. In June last, India became the first country in South Asia to ban the testing of cosmetics and its ingredients on animals, while it became the second country after Israel to ban animal testing for household products in January this year. “Now that the Bureau of Indian Standards committees, that determine what tests are required for cosmetics and household products have removed animal tests from the relevant standards, there is no reason as to why they should be sold here,” Chaitanya Koduri, PETA India Science Policy Adviser, said.
Such a move would place India in line with the European Union, which has banned the sale of all animal-tested cosmetics, and Israel, which has banned the sale of all cosmetics and household products that are tested on animals. Koduri admits though more than 1,300 companies around the world have banned all animal tests in favour of effective, modern non-animal tests, but many still choose to subject animals to painful tests. “Despite the availability of non-animal tests and ingredients that are known to be safe, many companies still choose to subject animals to painful experiments in which substances are dripped into their eyes, smeared onto their skin, sprayed in their faces or forced down their throats,” he said.